When the Black Ferns went 17-nil down against the Wallaroos in their Rugby World Cup opener last month, it could’ve been a time to panic.
But not for Ruby Tui.
Going into the match as heavy favourites after beating Australia twice in August, including a 52-5 win in Christchurch, the opening half an hour shocked the rugby world.
A Bienne Terita double and a try to Ivania Wong saw the Wallaroos race out to a commanding lead, before the hosts fought their way back in front of an incredible Eden Park crowd.
Star winger Ruby Tui, who was named World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in 2019 and won a gold medal in Tokyo last year, remembers feeling quite comfortable after looking at the clock.
“We obviously had a really rough start,” Tui told The Crowd Goes Wild.
“It was so funny. (We were) 17-nil down or something and a couple of the girls were like ‘oh man.’ I just remember looking at the clock and being like ‘guys we literally have an hour, we’re still here for a whole hour, this is all good bro.’
“In Sevens if you’re 17-nil down you’ve got seven minutes to score three tries, you need to hurry up.”
Winger Portia Woodman scored her second try of the Test just after the break to bring the two teams’ level, before New Zealand ran away with it.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 1, 2022
Tui was also named player of the match after crossing for a double, running for 133 metres from 13 runs, and making 10 tackles.
The Black Ferns have gone on to utterly dominate their opponents in their three games since, scoring 168 points across games against Wales, Scotland and Wales again.
New Zealand now face their toughest test so far, with a blockbuster semi-final against France waiting for them on Saturday.
On their end-of-year tour last year, the Black Ferns were outclassed by France twice – losing badly on both occasions.
After losing back-to-back Test matches against World No. 1 England, the Black Ferns were beaten by France 38-13 in Pau, before losing again 29-7 in Castres.
But as reported earlier, star scrumhalf Kendra Cocksedge said that “everything” has changed about the team after last year’s end-of-year tour.
“Everything (has changed) to be honest with you, we’ve improved a lot,” Cocksedge said after the quarter-final win.
“We knew that tour wasn’t great and we’ve moved on from that, and we’re playing some really exciting rugby that everyone loves to watch.
“It’s fast paced, it’s causing chaos, our set-piece is getting there now, our defence is really, really good.
“We’ve just changed, we’re a completely new side.”
Speaking with Taylor Curtis from The Crowd Goes Wild, Tui revealed that Cocksedge had told her back in 2010 at club training that she could have a future in international rugby.
“I remember in 2010 Kendra Cocksedge whispered in my ear at club training ‘you could be a winger for the Black Ferns.’ And I never forgot that,” Tui added.
“I bloody played fullback and she whispered in my ear ‘bro I didn’t mean fullback.’ Sorry bro.”
The Black Ferns are potentially 80 minutes away from a spot in the Rugby World Cup Final, with Tui also revealing how much she is enjoying being part of the team.
“I feel like a kid again, like a little kid again.
“I genuinely hand on heart, straight up on my book, love the people and love this team so it’s a really cool place to be in your career.”[rp-recommended-articles id=”article|257180,article|257181,article|257178,article|257170″]